Books in Brief: Parents Need to Eat, Too by Debbie Koenig
Books in Brief is a new column we're launching this week. Every week for a while I'll be working through the growing stack of excellent books on my desk and sharing a few brief thoughts on why you might like them. Each little post will follow the same basic format, which I hope will help you decide quickly and comfortably whether each book is right for you or someone in your life.
Parents Need to Eat, Too is a smart, witty, dare I say indispensable resource for parents clawing their way toward their “new normal” in the months after a baby is born. A great Mother’s Day or any-day gift for expecting and recently besieged…sorry, I mean blessed…parents.
The dirty details
Big batches, nap-time cooking, meals you can single-fist, and tips to turn recipes into baby food are just a few of the ridiculously practical ideas presented with compassion, humor, and clarity. The recipes are sophisticated enough to make you feel like a real adult (a rarity in the early days of parenthood), yet simple enough that you’d be able to cook them in a sleep-deprived state without burning down the house. (Hellooo, slow cooker!)
This is the opposite of a coffee table book. Soft cover, no glossy photo spreads to stress over keeping pristine, more than welcoming to errant splatters of diced tomatoes, raspberry jam, and breast milk. (No judgment!) When that baby starts learning to walk, you’ll probably have to ditch your coffee table and its sharp, suddenly hazardous corners, so you won’t have a place to put coffee table books anyway.
This book, though, you’ll always have a place for. On your actual cookbook stand in your actual kitchen, for example. And maybe sometimes under your pillow at night.
The lovely author
Debbie Koenig is a widely published freelance food writer and the voice behind the popular blog Words to Eat By. Along with her husband and their young son, she lives in Brooklyn — which, in the absolute best possible way, I swear you can tell from her writing. If I were you, I’d order the book on that basis alone.
You had me at...
Introducing a list of pantry nibbles to keep on hand for drop-in visitors, Debbie writes, “There’s something about having a new baby in the house that redefines gravity, with your home suddenly being at the center. Just when you wish people would most respect your privacy, your need to bond as a family, or even the notoriously unpredictable schedule you’re now living with, that’s when Aunt Judgy will ‘happen to be in the neighborhood.’” Take that, Aunt Judgy. And would you care for a whole-grain cracker with tapenade or other jarred spreads?
How to get it
For a chance to win a copy courtesy of publisher William Morrow, leave a comment on this post before May 25, 2012 at noon Eastern time that answers the following question:
When you’re too exhausted for words, what’s your favorite meal (or, you know, conglomeration of slightly shameful foods) to order for delivery or drag out of the pantry?